Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lessons from Pooh

An excerpt from The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne, Chapter 6:

... (Pooh) tripped over something, and the fir-cone jerked out of his paw into the river.  "Bother," said Pooh, as it floated slowly under the bridge, and he went to get another fir-cone which had a rhyme to it.  But then he thought that he would just look at the river instead, because it was a peaceful sort of day, so he lay down and looked at it, and it slipped slowly away beneath him... and suddenly, there was his fir-cone slipping away too.
"That's funny," said Pooh.  "I dropped it on the other side," said Pooh, "and it came out on this side!  I wonder if it would do it again?"  And he went back for some more fir-cones.  It did.  It kept on doing it.  Then he dropped two in at once, and leant over the bridge to see which of them would come out first; and one of them did; but as they were both the same size, he didn't know if it was the one which he wanted to win, or the other one.  So the next time he dropped one big one and one little one...
And that was the beginning of the game called Poohsticks, which Pooh invented, and which he and his friends used to play...

Lessons to be learned:
1.  Read the original Winnie the Pooh Books and poetry by A.A. Milne.  It is great!  Read it to your kids, too.  Read lots of great classic literature!
2.  Spend time enjoying nature.
3.  Experiment and let your creativity flow.  This is how we learn and grow and is especially important for kids.  Unstructured, relaxed time is so beneficial.
4.  Spend time playing with your friends!
5.  When frustrating things happen, just say "Bother!" and move on.

I'm probably missing some great lessons that can be pulled from this.  These are just a few that stood out to me.  My daughter just turned 5 and for the past year or so we have been reading many great chapter books for kids.  At first I was surprised by how long she was able to listen and how well she was able to narrate the story back to me.  Sometimes she was wiggly, sometimes she colored or cut paper while I read, but those things seem to aid in concentration for young kids rather than distract.  I was also surprised by how much I've enjoyed reading these books with her!  We've had lots of fun laughing together and we've learned together as well.

Some of our favorites:
1.  Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (we also enjoyed Trumpet of the Swan and Stuart Little)
2.  Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
3.  Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books by Betty MacDonald (I edited the content a little as I read them, also if you have kids who like to try everything they hear you may want to avoid these!)
4.  Casey the Utterly Impossible Horse by Anita Feagles

This is just a brief list.  I'm sure I've forgotten some!  And these are just the "chapter books."  We've had so much fun with picture books, too.  That list might show up in another post.

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